State Tuberculosis Sanitarium at Galen

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State Tuberculosis Sanitarium at Galen
State Tuberculosis Sanitarium at Galen
Established 1912
Construction Began 1913
Closed 1993
Current Status Closed
Building Style Cottage Plan
Location Galen, MT
Alternate Names
  • Montana State Tuberculosis Sanitarium


The State Tuberculosis Sanitarium at Galen was built on 40 donated acres next to the Montana State Hospital and admitted its first patient in 1913. Twenty months later, it had 115. Treatment emphasized clean, fresh air and high altitudes, so patients slept outdoors no matter what the temperature. They could come into the reception room during storms, but otherwise, they were only allowed in closed rooms while dressing. The sanitarium started admitting children in 1924. Direct sunlight was an important part of their therapy, so they started out with five minutes of direct sunlight and worked up to an hour. They napped from 1 to 3 p.m. everyday and went to bed at 9 p.m. The number of patients at Galen rose during the 1920s and 1930s, but chemical cures and other factors led to the sanitarium's decline. The sanitarium finally closed July 1, 1993.